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The Irish Tales

The Year We Ran Out of Fridays. (Part Two) 2

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Now, you are probably keen to know the result of the Millennium Lord's sudden appearance at my apartment and exactly how Tuesday came to be his daughter and other such details.

Well, I shall tell you in due course. But first I feel I must explain about ChronoDogs and ChronoBitches.
Where they come from, what they do and what they look like.

To deal with the last first ; despite their name, which is both misleading and mischievous, they are not canine at all.
They look like simple mortal human beings, albeit large and muscular. (The women, or Bitches, are very similar.)

Essentially, they are a policing force for us Regulators of Time, to protect the Residence and its inhabitants from....well, ourselves, basically.

Things can often get out of hand in the bars and brothels here, when immortals gather to drink and ingest drugs and find sexual gratification and bemoan their eternal existence.

They are also used to guard the entrance and exits to the Residence, just in case another old lady manages to wander in. Or something worse.

They are fiercely loyal, (hence the Dog tag) and sadly, as I have come to realise, badly treated by those they serve.

They are housed in the two barracks, one for the Dogs and the other for the Bitches; bleak, cold affairs, reminiscent of Soviet Russia at its worst.

Comfortless, spartan, but extremely functional. Kennels, if you like.

Food is basic but nourishing and spiced with steroids to both induce muscle and constrain sexual desire, although this latter was not entirely successful, as I was about to find out.

Whilst the two sexes come into frequent contact, intimacy is actively discouraged in order to preserve discipline and morale.
Or so I have always been led to believe.

The truth is, as Oscar later told me, promiscuity is rife and rivalry between Dogs for the affections of Bitches has led to many a fight and many a death, which is always covered up neatly.

(I was astonished to learn, later in our relationship, that Oscar was, on occasions, a senior Dog at the most prestigious brothel in the Residence and that after we Regulators had tired ourselves out, both literally and sexually, the head Dogs would be entertained by the head whores in wonderfully depraved style.
Oscar has always maintained to me that he personally never took part in such events, but a certain blandness of expression and blankness of eyes makes me suspect otherwise. The dirty dog.)

So now.
On to the last point: where they come from.

The ChronoPolice, (to give them their official title) are created by the Time Lord in seasonal batches, every century or so depending on requirements.

Though not immortal beings such as I, they live on average about 400 years.

Winter 360 means that Oscar was created from the Winter batch and late in the birthing.

Mature then, and experienced. And as I was about to discover, extremely intelligent.
Once Oscar's tears had dried up and he had regained his stolidity, he stood and gestured.

"Over there, lies my cottage, Sir... (gosh no!)...Dec! Would you care for some tea and honey ?"

It occurred to me that tea and honey would go down a treat right now and I smiled my acquiescence.

It was like giving a puppy a treat. He literally bounded ahead, pausing now and then to wave me on and I cursed my natural inclination to be distracted by the simple courtesies of everyday life. I stopped and yelled.

He whipped round and looked at me with an expression of pure contrition. He sensed he had somehow upset me and looked likely to burst into tears again, damn him.

This was going to be difficult, but necessary if he were to be of any use to me.
We trudged on together, side by side and slowly, whilst I gathered my thoughts.
I couldn't believe I was truly doing this, but needs must.
"Oscar," I began eventually. "There are things you need to know if you are to be of any practical help to me. So. I will talk and you will listen. Then we shall have tea and honey with your Bitch. Deal ?"

He turned and looked at me gravely, then nodded and held out his hand.

I hesitated for a second, then shook the outstretched hand warmly. It was a brand new experience for me and probably long overdue.

Then I related to him the events of the last few weeks, leading up to last night's appearance of the Millennium Lord.

So, I guess it's about time I told you too.


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